World Toilet Day: Nigerians speak on open defecation

As the world over celebrates World Toilet Day on Tuesday, 19 November, Philip Thomas and Funmi AREMU speak to a cross section of Nigerians on the problem of open defecations and the effects on public health.

Victor Aremu, student

Lack of good environmental sanitation is one of the problems affecting major cities in Nigeria. We are dirty, we should all learn ways through which we can properly get rid of wastes and there are many ways.

On open defecation issue, I think government should enact laws making sure every house in Nigeria has at least a toilet.

Cholera, one of the results of open defecation, could become endemic or epidemic. Open defecation in streams and rivers produces the bacteria escherichia coli, popularly known as E.coli which causes the disease colibacillosis, which is harmful to human consumption if it gets into water or food.

The only solution will be that government should provide more public restrooms, make laws forbidding open defecation and fine for the culprits.

Akinbulijo Wunmi, civil servant

Lack of toilet facilities is a sign of negligence and it has lot of negative effects which can lead to outbreak of diseases. Also, defecating in open places can be very harmful to people’s health.

The solution is to simply provide adequate number of toilets and employ cleaners because dirty toilets can also be another dangerous source of health issues.

Onaolapo Dolapo, presenter

Human wastes contain numerous germs that can cause sicknesses.

Lack of toilets can lead to a lot of diseases like cholera, malaria, typhoid, diarrhea, dysentery and all these can lead to death. It is generally believed that cleanliness is next to Godliness.

Government should make a law that all households should have at least a toilet and there should be punishment for those who don’t abide with the policy.

Olujoke Moses, Health Technology student

Lack of good and sanitized toilet can cause so many negative effects for one’s health both male and female. For the female especially, this causes infections which may lead to infertility and gonorrhea.  But in the case of males, such could be contracted through sexual intercourse. Some of the solutions include building of good sanitized toilet with water closet and prohibiting the use of pit toilet as it tends to cause infections when exposed to it as well as regular washing and cleaning of toilet to kill germs which may cause infections. Though sanitation in our society is bad because of the high rate of infection, public enlightenment on the essence of good sanitation should be encouraged to educate people more on the effects of bad toilet.

Andrew Peter, student

Lack of toilet facilities is not government’s fault but can be ascribed to the ignorance and negligence of people. Most households are without toilet facilities even in urban centres, but more especially in the rural areas. I think enough publicity should be done in the rural areas, stating the hazards that are attached to it. We all know that if there are no toilets it is very dangerous health-wise, not only to people in the households but also to the whole community. Houses in urban centres still not having toilets should be locked up in order not to spread diseases. Government should continue publicising the effects on all social media platforms. Cleanliness is next to Godliness.

Amaihian Ojeabu Karim, Teacher

There are still so many houses being built these days without toilets. There are numerous government agencies across the country saddled with responsibilities of maintaining clean and healthy environment which include National Environmental Standards and regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Federal Environmental Protection Agency, federal and state ministries of environment. It is highly pathetic to discover that all these aforementioned bodies do not have direct impact on their immediate environments.

We hear governments allotting huge portions of their budgets to these ministries but they have no impact. However, the problem here is not just the ministries but poor implementation and enforcement of policies by government.

Government should put our various environmental agencies to better use. Let them go out there and arrest defaulters and make them face the law. There are fundamental laws on environment meant to be obeyed and adhered to.

Agbeoluwaye Charles, Corps member 

Sanitation in Nigeria is nothing to write home about. Government at all levels should wake up to their responsibilities and ensure a clean and better environment for all Nigerians

If among 170 million Nigerians, 103 million still lack toilet facilities then we should know that Nigeria lacks a clean environment. It simply shows that a larger percentage of Nigerians still defecate in the open. Even some government offices and establishments lack good conveniences which sometimes make some members of staff and officials defecate in the open. Effects of lack of toilets include pollution of the environment and water borne diseases like cholera and typhoid.

Adigun Isaiah

Lack of toilets is disastrous to public health. By not using a good toilet one is exposed to various infections. To avoid toilet diseases, people should make sure they have their own toilets.

Mrs Olaide Adesina (Nurse)

My advice to everyone is to try and make sure they have a toilet in their homes. Also, unhygienic or pit toilets may cause infections like toilet diseases or even gonorrhea. Everyone in the society should have clean toilets to avoid diseases.